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  • CORPORATE CRIMINAL LIABILITY ACT AMENDED

    14. 10. 2016

    On June 1, 2016, the legislative process was completed, during which the Act no. 418/2011 Coll., on criminal liability of legal persons and proceedings against them (hereinafter the "Corporate Criminal Liability Act") was amended. The amendment was adopted under no. 183/2016 Coll. and will come into force on December 1, 2016.

    First and foremost, the amendment redefined the types of crimes which a legal person can commit. Originally, the law on corporate liability was conceived to contain a positive list of offenses attributable to a legal entity. This model, however, was abandoned by the said amendment, and the positive list has been replaced with a negative list. As of December 1, 2016, it will be the case that a corporation may commit all the crimes listed in a special part of the Act no. 40/2009 Coll., the Criminal Code, except for those set out in the provisions of Section 7 of the Corporate Criminal Liability Act.

    More importantly, however, the manner in which a legal person may exonerate itself from legal liability for wrongful acts committed by persons mentioned in the provisions of Section 8 (1) of the Corporate Criminal Liability Act has been expanded. The amendment has introduced the principle of effective prevention in paragraph 5 of the provision which says that “a legal person may be relieved of its criminal liability in accordance with paragraphs 1 through 4, if it makes every effort that could be reasonably required to prevent the commitment of the offense by the persons mentioned in paragraph 1.” In addition, a corporation may be held criminally liable pursuant to the provisions of Section § 8 (1) to (4) only for unlawful conduct of a person in a managerial position.

    Thus, corporations may limit their own criminal liability through a series of appropriate internal rules and measures reflecting the requirements of the Act and setting out ethical principles of the company, the so-called Compliance Programs. The Compliance Programs frequently contain rules against unfair competition, corruption and all forms of discrimination at the workplace. At the same time, they cover such issues as health and safety and handling of data, including personal data.

    The Compliance Programs frequently contain rules against unfair competition, corruption and all forms of discrimination at the workplace. At the same time, they cover such issues as health and safety and handling of data, including personal data.

    Our office is prepared to assist you in creating either simple internal company regulations or the entire compliance program.

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